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BMW Dealership Installs BC’s First Commercial-Scale Wind Turbine

A BMW dealership near Vancouver has become the first business in British Columbia to install a commercial-scale turbine, according to a newspaper report.

The Auto West Group’s egg beater-shaped, vertical-axis turbine is quieter than most vacuum cleaners, the Globe and Mail reports.

Project development manager Pete Sargent told the paper that the business wanted to install a turbine because wind power is one of the few renewable energy sources that it hasn’t tried yet. The dealership already has solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling, as well as rooftop gardens.

“The question that was asked [by company founder Joachim Neumann] was how do you do something that’s different, and that’s good for the environment,” Sargent said.

But he said that unlike the geo-thermal power and solar panels, which will have a 12-year and nine-year payback, respectively, he doesn’t know what the payback period will be on the wind turbine. And he said he received no tax breaks or other government-backed incentives towards installation of the turbine.

Sargent said that the return on investment will become more clear in six months to a year, after the company has collected the first power generation data from the device.

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